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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Feb 5, 2014 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

My favorite sentence in an overall positive review is: "One incoherent jam in the four-hour concert rambled on for 40 minutes."

I look forward to listening to that incoherent jam tonight.

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Poster: Skobud Date: Feb 5, 2014 11:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

This show has most definitely grown on me since the announcement, and as usual(for Dave's Picks) the transfer is nothing short of remarkable. It's seems to me to be done exactly the same way they did 11/30/80 - Matrix style....You can hear all of the little nuances so much better and Kieth is higher and brighter in the mix, which is really evident beginning with Loser. Jack Straw, Scarlet>Roses and Big River really stand out in the first set to these ears - and the Playin' totally blew me away…I certainly don't remember enjoying it nearly as much as I have in the past two days.

The second set is just ridiculous......I got one word for ya - Dark Star. It’s completely outta this world……I'm starting to think it and the adjoining combo are amongst the best of the year - at least a top 5 for '74 in my book. This show has some really jazzy passages intertwined in the jams, and Jerry's tone is almost bird-like with that slide-piece. I think the key to this one is the fact that Jerry is so completely on, and the jams get very spacey and exploratory yet always retain a really tight, cohesive sound.

It’s no secret I am a huge fan of these Plangent transfers, and this one does not disappoint. Dave is off to a great start this new year. Cheers!


This post was modified by Skobud on 2014-02-05 19:31:21

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 5, 2014 9:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show


http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2013/11/may-14-1974-university-of-montana.html

And they weren't betrayed.

That would have been terrible. It could have led to thrown pitchers.


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Poster: stratocaster Date: Feb 5, 2014 8:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

one man's rambling incoherent jam is another man's blissful sojourn towards the gates of nirvana...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 5, 2014 9:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

The other review in the CD booklet is also interesting - it mentions that the audience was full of beer drinkers who came to the show to boogie... Apparently they were disappointed by the musical variety, slow tunes, and long instrumental passages! But happily, the Dead did finally rock out enough for the audience's pleasure.
It brought to mind Weir's later comment that a lot of the Dead's jams in '74 were going over their audience's heads.

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Poster: kochman Date: Feb 5, 2014 10:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily blame the beer haahaha
Sometimes their "jams" were incoherent, or boring, to a lot of people. I'll shy away from a qualifier like "most"...

Everything they did wasn't gold, in any period.
I'll bring up 5/11/72 Dark Star, which a lot love, and a lot find to be absolutely boring.

Anyhow, I plan on reviewing this show freshly soon, so I'll have a new take on it by then.

This post was modified by kochman on 2014-02-05 18:17:45

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Feb 5, 2014 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

I have to agree. Length does not = quality.

(ah, there's a duck even Peyton Manning can appreciate).

To my ears, few jams that go over 20 minutes are able to hold my attention. I just don't have that much time anymore to seriously focus for much longer than that on a single tune. Back in the day a 45 minute Dark Star was a thing to relish and savor. Now, it's good if I run out of Ambien. Now if Jerry is on a special run and really painting a full picture, I can certainly go further, but if it seems like its long just to be long (insert another duck call here), I can't hang (they just keep getting better, don't they?).

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 5, 2014 8:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

I have to admit that I mostly skip past any jam that becomes an outer space wandering these days. I loved that stuff back in the day, but somehow it doesn't seem to provide quite the right mood music for, say, cooking dinner. Particularly since I'd mostly be waiting for someone in the house to complain. I can put up with "are they STILL playing that song?" as long as I can answer "yes, and aren't you GLAD?!?" But if "that song" consists heavily of zweeep diddle diddle BWooOOOoooOOO ...


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Poster: kochman Date: Feb 6, 2014 5:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

I agree AR.
My "college days" long behind me, I find myself more and more interested in the rocking, focused jams rather than the super spacey jams.

I think of it on a continuum, basically:
Structure Verse>Focused Jam (such as found between verse in China Cat)> Exploratory Jam (such a Slipknot!)>Spacey Jam...
Now, spacey jam has sub-strata... I love "Space" as seen in the modern format... But, in the earlier days, you often got less structured than even that weirdness.
Once it gets to the point where one or two instruments are dallying about with a only few notes here and there, I lose interest.

@Tell - The above being said, a short PITB from 1971 only pisses me off! At the same time, a 45 minute PITB from 1974 bores me.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 6, 2014 6:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

Well, looks like you and KM are joining up w SDH, in having rejected your childhood love of the jam?

;)

What do you think of it being the age diff? IE, you, right after me, but SDH & KM moreso, experience the 80s/90s, when jams were consistent, highly regulated (albeit worthless, in my view--space, I should say, not really "jams"...hmm, okay, some apples/oranges here...but my pt is they were crappy)...

Bleech...furgit.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 6, 2014 6:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

Well, my own attraction to spacey/cosmic/avante-garde jams with the GD grew out of generally being attracted to everything experimental. In college, we played John Cage and Philip Glass along with GD, King Crimson, etc, and I liked performance art, happenings, anything that felt outside the box and pushing boundaries ... it all went together. Like I've said, I was pro-Seastones. So at the time, I liked that they did Space.

Anthem was also a personal favorite, and I always saw it as pretty quintessential GD. If you'd asked me back then, I'd have seen Space as a continuation of that. I wasn't really aware that they only started Space > Drums in its formalized form in the late '70s.

Nowadays, speaking as a middle-aged mom, I'd have to say that Space > Drums just isn't what I feel like hearing when I'm going about my day. And yeah, I think a lot of that is that there's not much "there" there, except live. It was a ritual, and it was experiential, but that was then (and a different frame of mind) and this is now (and dinner's on the stove.) So I'll skip ahead. The other later-day jamming is part of a song or sequence and I wouldn't skip a jam in that sense.

Long early jams (like Missoula, which I have on a non-DaP copy that I'll re-listen to soon!) are another kettle of cosmic fish; on the whole, they're "better" IMO than Space, and if I have the, er, "space" to enjoy them and focus then, yeah, I do. But if it's 40 minutes ... well, it's not really background music around the house, either. OK, SOMETIMES it is ... but realistically, I'll skip in the sense of postponing listening to it until I can really pay some attention. Or I mean to postpone until later, and then I forget :-)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 5, 2014 7:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

It's funny--I was just the opposite...part of why I love 71 is that it was the yr that could supply straight up, short and sweet, Am Beauty and Work Dead style tunes. The bootlegs that existed then, from July (closing of Fillmore) and Aug (Hollywood Pal), plus Nov (Harding Theatre), were ideal.

I never listened to Live Dead in those early formative yrs, and can recall siding w a non HEAD when he said, to a large gathering debating the band, "now, me and my uncle--that's an amazing tune, but 24 minutes of dark star?!? you've got to be kidding me!"

Ironic that I so defend 68 now, when I never listened to Anthem, and didn't know what CypEnv really was about, frankly, til I bought two from the vault ten yrs ago (ie, I didn't know they played the "suite" all thru summer of 68 thru to 69, blah, blah, blah).

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 5, 2014 8:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

Really?!?

By "didn't know what CypEnv really was about," do you just mean you didn't know the historic specifics or you didn't listen to Anthem/CE at all and associate that sound with the band?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 6, 2014 6:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

BOTH; I do recall there was an obscure bootleg that had the dedication to Owlsey, which BTW, was asked about in that 70s trivial quiz you directed us to, and then CE starts up...but it was poor quality.

Otherwise, I had NOTHING; no tapes w the amazing CE--OO--CE sequences, etc., etc. And, I didn't mind at all--I thought of Anthem as far less appealing than Live Dead, which just had a relatively good StSt (but not nearly as good as the one from Aox), since it was live but not, and had NO recognizable songs...back then, we actually thought Alligator was strange and quirky, a mere novelty item. Recall as "defender of the DEAD" I didn't want to have justify kazoos, and the like...

I embraced it all after arriving here and finding out what happened in 67-69...

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Poster: Reade Date: Feb 5, 2014 2:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

This is one of those Weir statements that gets me scratchin the ol noggin.
If their jams were not going over their audience's heads in the Fall of '72, they sure as hell were not going over anybody's heads in '74.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 5, 2014 4:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

Well, to be specific, Weir told David Gans in 1981:
"Right before we knocked off in '74, we got so musically inbred that we were playing some fairly amazing stuff, but almost nobody could hear it or relate to it except us. That's one of the reasons why we knocked off and went out and did solo projects. We were speaking a language known only to us, using a musical vocabulary that was really pretty damned esoteric at some points.
Q: You don't think the crowd was picking up on it?
WEIR: A lot of them didn't, I know they didn't... There were the close-in core of fans, like yourself, who could follow it. But your average kid who came to the show because it was the only thing happening on Friday night in town...we lost them with pretty fair regularity. Since then, we've gotten more succinct. The space music, though it happens, generally doesn't go on for as long, and if it does go on for a while, we generally get to the heart of what we're getting to a lot quicker."

Saying that people who'd liked the Dead's jams in '72 would still like them in '74 is misleading since in every audience there were a bunch of new people. (How many people at the University of Montana in '74, for instance, had seen the Dead before?)
You can see in the newspaper reviews, the first reviewer loved the Dead but called the WRS>Dark Star "an incoherent jam that rambled on for 40 minutes." The second reviewer was also impressed by their music but noticed that most of the audience was just there to boogie and was put off by a lot of the music.
This is something I've seen frequently in reviews of the time - so yeah, safe to say that among a large part of the crowd, NFA & Saturday Night were a lot more exciting than the Dark Star.

Heck, I'd call parts of this Dark Star rather incoherent too, but that's another issue...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Feb 6, 2014 9:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

The Dead were not the only artists to retreat to more accessible (commercial) ground in the period . The move to shorter, tighter song s(the influence of New Wave ?) was in the water . the problem of the audience "just not getting it", is heard by other people . Frank Zappa pulled in his horns musically by the late 70's, and Herbie Hancock had already , with "Headhunters" in late 73, moves to less adventurous, more accessible music . from wiki .
"I began to feel that I had been spending so much time exploring the upper atmosphere of music and the more ethereal kind of far-out spacey stuff. Now there was this need to take some more of the earth and to feel a little more tethered; a connection to the earth....I was beginning to feel that we (the sextet) were playing this heavy kind of music, and I was tired of everything being heavy. I wanted to play something lighter." (Hancock's sleeve notes: 1997 CD reissue)"
I know he also complained that he would go to his friends homes , and no one was playing his albums ...
It is interesting that during their most commercially successful period , late 80's ,early 90' they subjected their audiences to a nightly, sometime lengthy. drums>space segments . Most people seemed to accept is as part of the deal of seeing the Dead . Maybe it served as sort of a "meathead filter", I'm sure that for many, this put them off seeing the band again, but not that many ! These segments grew, while the bands post 74, grew less exploratory in the regular band portions of the show .
Sometimes these improves of this 72-74 era can be less than cogently argued, but we put up with this messiness to get to those sublime spots, that sadly, happened less post 74 .

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 5, 2014 8:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

As I explained to SDH, once more above, I am precisely this fan, 40 yrs later...the love I have of Am Beau/Workingman's is the "straight forward" typical tune kind of appreciation...why I love Skull & Roses, and rarely listened to Live Dead (all my love of 68 developed in the last ten yrs since I arrived here, and purchased TFTV).

So, it wasn't just that the song writing was the best in 70, or the vocals, it was that I could understand those tunes, and cheered for M&MU far more loudly than GDTRFB or PITB, or even CFingers, much less WRS, etc. Then, when we had to experience TerrS,and Bl for Allah, it really was too much...I think the many folks here that experienced the band from the late 70s and esp 80s, had a very different experience.

I could get a lot of non HEADs to appreciate S&R live material, and thus, shows from 71 (like Fill, Holly & Harding), but not so much things like Live Dead (and recall, we didn't have much at all of things prior to 70 during the 70s...I didn't have a single bootleg or tape of a CE--OO--CE or DS--StSt--11, except for the prized re-broadcast of 10-12-68 during 1976.

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Poster: Reade Date: Feb 6, 2014 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

"Saying that people who'd liked the Dead's jams in '72 would still like them in '74 is misleading since in every audience there were a bunch of new people. (How many people at the University of Montana in '74, for instance, had seen the Dead before?)"

Undoubtedly the crowd was changing by '74. More drinking and fighting at outdoor shows judging from band member musings from the stage at some of the larger outdoor gigs. Which to me is way more to the point than talking about anything going over anybody's head. Such a statement implies to me that the music was 'evolving' and leaving fans in the dust. Which again to me was anything but the case.
They were clearly running out of things to say -great jam vehicles like DS, O1 and Playin' just aren't as interesting in '74. The UDub 5/21 Playin' is the longest ever but very far from the most interesting ever. Surely the dropoff in the number of times Dark Star was played in '74 vs. '73, and '72, is further proof of that. They just were not getting off on it as much.
The game changed by '74 and the time out they called by going on hiatus I'll always think was a timely one for sure.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 6, 2014 1:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

Some random musings...

I think their desire to go on hiatus was caused more by the troubles caused by the Wall of Sound, internal crew problems, and the band getting sick of the stadium-type shows and steady expansion (Garcia complained about it vociferously at the time) - not by a more rowdy audience.
I guess from the Dead's perspective, the big audience jump had taken place in 1970-71, when lots of kids who weren't really "deadheads" started coming to shows since they liked Casey Jones, Truckin', that kind of thing. (And, as usual, the older fans looked down on them for being a more clueless, noisy audience.) So the Dead had been used to that dilemma for some years. I don't think the audiences of '74 were any worse (though bigger) than the riotous audiences of fall '70, which Garcia was very upset about at the time.

Anyway, it's true the music was 'evolving,' as it always was. Weir's comment, well, it's hindsight, and I think he was always worried about leaving audience members behind. (He also forgot that the Dead's music got even more esoteric in '75!)
I don't think I agree about '74 Playin's getting less interesting, but Dark Star had definitely run out of steam, and you find them wanting to pursue new places for the jams (post-WRS jams, or the Seastones jams in Sept/Oct).
A good question would be whether any steady fans noticed a difference... If you'd seen them in fall '72 or '73, would you notice in '74 that the jams were lacking spark & energy in comparison? I doubt it; not without a tape at hand to compare. And the Wall alone would make attending any Dead show in '74 pretty impressive!

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Poster: Reade Date: Feb 6, 2014 1:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Missoulian Music Review of 5-14-74 show

"I think their desire to go on hiatus was caused more by the troubles caused by the Wall of Sound, internal crew problems, and the band getting sick of the stadium-type shows and steady expansion..."

Certainly, and don't forget the crushing gas prices related to the energy crisis related to Middle East stuff (unless that was one of the problems you alluded to connected with the Wall of Sound- lugging it everywhere).

All of which had to affect morale, which had to affect the music. All I'm sayin.'

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 5, 2014 10:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Alternate Review

I decided to type it out in full, for CD-lacking readers:

GRATEFUL DEAD, AUDIENCE LACK 'COMMON PURPOSE'
by Jack Wendel & Paul Piper
Montana Kaimin

A very high, concert-starved crowd, prepared to grind themselves into the woodwork, cheered on the Grateful Dead's first appearance in Montana.
A musical communion, however, it was not, and for all the excitement that had been generated (via advertising) in anticipation of Missoula's potential rock orgy, it was unfortunate that both the Dead and the audience seldom found a common purpose.
Few people seemed familiar with the slow metamorphosis that had been effected within the Dead's repertoire. There is a little understood distinction between rock stars and artists.
Instead of a concert full of Truckin, Casey Jones, and other relatively light rock music for which the Dead are best known, they ran the gamut from ballads and rock and roll to two long sets of acid style music (Playing in the Band, Dark Star) - the later two representing the Dead's superior innovative abilities since their beginnings in San Francisco.
The concert began early for a few hundred beer and wine drinkers who had been waiting by the gates since 4 that afternoon. When people were finally let in there was an initial rush for sitting room on the floor, but people eventually settled down enthralled by the towering speaker system that dominated the Field House.
But it was to everyone's surprise when they later learned that this amalgation was built more with quality of sound in mind than a mere production of raw unadulterated noise.
The group came out unannounced, without much fanfare on their part, and began to play. Most of their music was slow and impeccably performed.
Their instruments weaved graceful patterns through extremely difficult polyrhythmic passages, many of which went unnoticed by the audience that only wanted to boogie.
There were times when the audience and the band did seem to communicate, and although these were few, they were probably the most ecstatic in the limited history of Missoula rock concerts. These moments were especially prevalent towards the end when their music took on a lighter note and the band could feel the positive feedback radiating from the 7,000 bodies writhing with sublime pleasure.
These moments were supplemented by Garcia's flawless leads where every note freed the audience to a higher level musical experience. Had the Greatful Dead continued at this point, the gathering would have ceased to be a concert but would have become a festival of nostalgia, something the band obviously wanted to avoid. And so, unexpectedly, it ended. They bade farewell and calmly walked off stage.
The crowd roared, matches were lit, people pounded against the platform, but nothing seemed to bring them back. After five long minutes, they reluctantly consented to play more. Then some ass-hole threw an Aber Day pitcher which hit Bob Wier on the head. Suppose you just can't hide your feelings. The encore was short and sweet and again the band politely left.
It was a good concert with a lot of fine music, but one that could have been the best if both the Dead and the audience could have been more accommodating.